A-K Valley teams begin 2021-22 PIHL season

Wednesday, October 6, 2021 | 10:23 AM

The PIHL season is underway, and A-K Valley teams have begun the six-month grind toward the Penguins Cup playoffs.

Teams will play a 20-game regular-season schedule that will stretch into March before the postseason begins.

Among A-K Valley teams, four are competing this season in Class A: Fox Chapel, Plum and Freeport are in the Northeast Division with Hampton, and Kiski Area is in the Southeast Division with Greensburg Salem, Norwin and Westmont Hilltop.

Plum dropped down from Class 2A this season, along with Moon and Hampton.

Burrell again will play in Division II in the North section with Bishop Canevin, Avonworth, Central Valley, Neshannock and Wilmington.

Last season, Kiski Area and Freeport had 30 points each at the top of the Northeast Division, but the squads are now in different divisions. Both teams reached the Penguins Cup semifinals a year ago.

Three area teams opened the season Monday night.

Fox Chapel topped Hampton, 8-1, as Mason Heininger, Danny Downey and Tommy Healy had two goals each. Downey added three assists, and Nash Wedner made 27 saves.

Plum beat Westmont Hilltop, 3-1, behind two goals from Rylan Schoonover. Max Weingrad also scored, and Sam Pine made 34 saves.

Burrell lost to Bishop Canevin, 4-2. Joe Scolaro and Caden Canfield scored for the Bucs.

North Allegheny (3A), Baldwin (2A), Indiana (A) and Neshannock (Division II) won PIHL Penguins Cup championships last season, but Indiana and Baldwin since have moved up a classification.

North Allegheny won the preseason St. Margaret Fall Faceoff tournament for the eighth time by defeating Mt. Lebanon, 5-4, in a shootout after needing eight rounds of a shootout to beat Baldwin in the semifinals. Seneca Valley was the other semifinalist in the preseason tournament.

Freelance writer Kyle Dawson contributed.

Bill Hartlep is the sports editor of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill at bhartlep@triblive.com or via Twitter @BHartlep_Trib.

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